Love Addiction afflicts thousands of singles. How can you deal with compulsive behaviour like this in a Christian manner? What is the void in their lives that they are trying to fill? Dr. Jim gives a detailed account on how to get help if you’re caught up in this kind of behaviour.
Love Addiction: Is the Internet your drug of choice? Part 2
How does one deal with compulsive behavior in Internet usage? I am not a trained counselor but some practical items come to mind that I invite you to consider:
1. You cannot “think” your way to stopping this behavior. (Intellectual)
2. You cannot “feel” your way to stopping this behavior. (Emotions)
3. To change one must deal with the force behind the behavior. (Self-image/Spirit)a. One must gain a new insight into “what” is the void in their lives that they are trying to fill. It is the “inner self” or “self-image” where the major forces of our lives develop. This is where the work must be done in order to bring the emotions and intellect to a point to make wise choices.
b. The force that develops out of the void does not care about what is right or wrong. It just knows that the inner self wants something and it sets out to get it. This force will work in the sub-conscious unless and until the root of the force is discovered and processed in a healthy manner.
A single adult most often responds to the missing “void” in their life by thinking that it is missing a mate. This is NOT reality. My experience and input from many counselors that have shared with me is that often cover painful incidents in our lives with defensive mechanisms.
“Place your expectations on God!”
We do not want to be hurt again. We will go to “extreme” measures to not be hurt again AND/OR to find behaviors that soothe the pain. This is only a mask and does not rid the inner negative force. Like a ball that one tries to submerge in water, it will come bouncing to the surface again.
The Process To Discover If You Have A Love Addiction
The process to discover the root of these compulsive forces can seldom be accomplished alone. The person with compulsive behavior has spent a long time developing to this stage and are very unlikely to be able to get behind the mechanisms their inner self has developed to ‘protect’ them.
I strongly recommend the guidance of a trained counselor to guide one to make these ‘self-discoveries.’ This was certainly true for many after I was divorced from a 25-year marriage and in my fifties. The freedom and release that I was able to find through this process not only were awesome, but served as the basis of passion used to bring this ministry into being.
There are some other practical steps that I encourage one to take to have a healthy balance to using the Internet. People usually get into deep trouble and temptation when they choose to do things alone. Buddies of our own gender are not only great at holding us accountable, but can provide perspective to enable us to have a healthy balance. If you do not have 1 or 2 Christian buddies of your own gender that should become a priority.
Next, develop a plan in how you will use the Internet. Write down the plan covering such things as how much time you will spend doing this activity and your realistic expectations. Approach your Internet usage as if it were a job in the sense that you will work at this time each day and no more.
Where To Place Your Expectations
Get a life! By this I mean to be sure that you are developing a life that addresses ALL of you. This includes your spiritual, financial, emotional, friendships, vocational, etc.
Place your expectations on God! Be active in getting as healthy as you can in every area of your life so that you will be really ready when God brings someone special into it. HmmmI wonder if the reason you have not met anyone yet is because God does not see that you are ready?
“Get a life!”
The Internet is a great tool and a wonder vehicle for communication. Use it wisely and do not allow it to rob you of the joy and peace that desired when you began using it.
Author of “Guide to Successful Online Christian Dating”
If you enjoyed reading the Love Addiction article and would like to read the first part of this series, please see:
Internet Addiction Part 1